Earth’s Lost Billion Years

Nov 13, 2023 | Science, Videos

The Boring Billion is an anomaly that has left scientists scratching their heads for years. This billion-year period, which occurred between 1,800 and 800 million years ago, saw a sudden transition from an ever-changing Earth to one that was largely in stasis. During this time, the planet’s atmosphere was largely oxygen-free, leading to global oceans filled with iron and toxic hydrogen sulfide. With no evidence of any dramatic climate fluctuations, the evolution of life on Earth slowed to a crawl – only extremely simple eukaryotes were flourishing.

So what caused this “Boring Billion” of geochemical stasis? Scientists believe that the cooling of the Earth’s core could be responsible for causing such little change over such an extended period. However upon closer inspection, there was still some activity occurring at a microscopic level – simpler organisms were slowly evolving into more complex forms of life. And it took them a full billion years to do so!

For those interested in learning more about this fascinating period in Earth’s history, National Geographic has released a documentary titled The Boring Billion. Taking an up close and personal look at this “anomalous” era, viewers get to understand how life evolved during this period and witness some of the most important milestones in our evolutionary journey. From single-celled microbes to complex plants and animals, these milestones eventually gave rise to our current state – which we all take for granted today! So if you’re curious as to what transpired during The Boring Billion and want to know just how far we’ve come since then – tune into National Geographic’s enthralling documentary today!

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David B